WILUA3I VOX HU^rBOLBT. 295
would still give but a very poor idea of the profundity
of knowledge displayed in them. They are among
the most interesting works which Humboldt has
written, for he appears here as an entirely original
thinker. Both his subject and its treatment are pecu-
liar and no vel? and have formed the basis of subsequent
investigations by other philosophers.
The second treatise was quoted soon after its publica-
tion by Franz Schlegel with great commendation.
Jacobi wrote to the author to express Ms commendation
of the first. The introduction only he considered., and
perhaps not without reason, as too abstract^ and thought
that the quantity of great and glorious ideas in wMdh.
the essay abounds, might have been so put that the
subject should flow more from them than they from,
the subject. Humboldt himself had little hope of
disseminating his ideas, and felt this more powerfully
when he read Schiller's poem tc "Wurde der lYauen/'*
He writes to him llth September,, 1795 : " It was
indeed an indescribable feeling to find things on which
I have thought so much, which are perhaps more than
you may have remarked, interwoven with my whole
existence, expressed in such an appropriate diction.
What we think and write down in prose is3 after all,
only words, something dead and powerless, and espe-
cially something indistinct and imperfect It only
receives completion, life, and a peculiar organization
from the pen of the poet, ajid I have never felt this
so vividly as now/* Schiller replies to this, 5th Oct.:
" Do not doubt, my dear friend, that your ideas on sex
will eventually become current, and will be stamped as
scientific coin, as soon as you will publish a still more
detailed work on the subject. This is certainly neces-
sary, and I think the matter deserves it, I am myw
only waiting for some public voice of approbation 0f
my poenXp and for a suitable opportunity to state pub-
licly how much is cocktai&Qd. in your essays/* .A., very
important opinion on these essays, aaad especially on.
the one treating of mascailine and feiaaiiaiae.foim,, has
lately been published by Franeis von Jú3D0g ; c* When